Learning at the Australian PlantBank
The Australian PlantBank is not only a working science facility, but a learning centre for everyone.
- Panels on the building introduce visitors to the incredible world of plants, and how the important conservation work of PlantBank staff relates to everyone.
- Signage throughout the Living Laboratory garden beds helps visitors explore relationships between plants and fauna, people, science and the environment.
- Inside the building, images, text and multimedia demystify the work done by Trust scientists in the laboratories and seedbank.
- The interactive Diversity Wall exhibition engages visitors through stunning images, historical scientific and cultural objects and text that bring stories and facts about plants to life.
Tours and workshops
- A self-guided trail smartphone app is available to give visitors insight into three sections of the PlantBank facility. Download the PlantBank App from Apple itunes or Google Play.
- School holiday programs and family self-guided quests are offered at the Australian Botanic Garden around the themes of seeds and plant conservation, for children aged 6-12 years.
- Volunteer-lead guided tours.
- Workshops to train citizen scientists in the collection and recording of scientific data for the national ClimateWatch program, with a new ClimateWatch Trail for the Australian Botanic Garden launched on 29 November.
- Training in bush regeneration of Cumberland Plain Woodland at the Australian Botanic Garden to protect the endangered ecosystem in the region.
- PlantBank interpretation (Diversity Wall) provides an engaging educational experience for students and general visitors utilising new media and other resources.
Environmental Trust Grant funding
- A grant from the Environmental Trust for digital education has funded the development of resources such as the self-guided trail smartphone app, the new PlantBank education website, plant models for the teaching lab and contributed to the Connected Classroom hardware.
- Through Interactive Learning, school students gain an insight into plant conservation, biology, seed collection, preservation and propagation. Connected Classroom facilities enable virtual excursions for schools across Australia and beyond.
- A new dedicated PlantBank website offers pre- and post-visit activities and resources for students and teachers.
HSBC sponsorship for interactive learning
The Trust is the recipient of sponsorship by HSBC that will support ongoing digital education delivery over three years. The project, entitled ‘Interactive Learning’, commenced with a pilot program at PlantBank in November 2013.
The Interactive Learning Project has:
- Developed a suite of online interactive learning programs and extension activities for school students using Connected Classroom technology on the themes of plant sciences, plant conservation, sustainability and the environment.
- Facilitated the development and delivery of project components of Connected Classrooms by the Community and Education Programs team to ensure the successful delivery of virtual excursions across three Botanic Gardens. Interactive Learning.
- Enabled training and technical support for the Community and Education Programs team in Interactive Learning tools to support the development and delivery of a wide range of online syllabus-linked interactive programs for schools and other educational audiences.
- Established connections with NSW schools and liaised with relevant government bodies such as the Department of Education and Communities, the Office of Environment and Heritage, DART and Virtual Excursions Australia, to expand the reach of Trust education programs.